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Chamber CEO leaves for aquarium leadership role

Kevin Cooper will join Mote Marine in a role focused on public relations and branding.

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  • | 9:22 a.m. December 13, 2018
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — The leader of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is leaving his post for a top position with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

Mote announced chamber President and CEO Kevin Cooper will join the organization as vice president for communications and strategic initiatives. Cooper is expected to begin his work at Mote in early 2019 following a transition period at the chamber, Mote says in a release.

Cooper’s role will focus on the implementation of Mote’s strategic initiatives, which include the construction of a new aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park and the expansion of the research program at Mote’s City Island campus. Mote also highlighted a series of scientific initiatives, including those related to red tide, as key undertakings.

Mote says Cooper’s responsibilities will include public and media relations, marketing and branding. Mote cited Cooper’s history as a leader in the region’s business community as a reason for his hire.

“A critical role for Kevin will be to work with and influence people across the entire organization and external stakeholder groups, and provide me with recommendations related to optimal effectiveness and efficiency of overall Mote operations,” says Mote President and CEO Michael Crosby in a statement.

In the release, Cooper expressed excitement about his new job.

“Ever since I began working with the team at Mote on the creation of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic sand-sculpting event, I’ve admired the organization,” Cooper says in a statement. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to devote my time to Mote’s transformative efforts.”

Cooper has served as head of the chamber since 2016. He previously worked at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and as executive director of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.


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